Provinces allowed to build powerhouses

ATTOCK - Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani Thursday said the government was undertaking long and short term measures to address its energy needs and had permitted the provinces to build their own power houses to meet the shortfall. Addressing a large public gathering here after the ground-breaking ceremony of Khushhal Garh Bridge with a cost of Rs 1.5b to connect Punjab with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over River Indus, Gilani appreciated the announcement of a hydel power project by the provincial government. Gilani making it clear that he had not come into power through back-door, said being the first unanimously-elected PM of Pakistan, he would bring revolutionary changes in the country. The prime minister acknowledged there was shortage of power in the country and said effective measures were being taken to address the issue. He said the federation had asked the provinces to set up power generating units on their own and expressed the hope that it would help overcome the growing power needs, besides creating employment. He said the government had increased power generation by 1,000 MW annually, since it came into power and hoped it would benefit the national industry. Gilani pointed that eight per cent of countrys gas and petroleum needs were being met from this area and hoped the bridge would help increase transportation of petroleum products and goods and services. Gilani said construction of the bridge at Khushhal Garh was a longstanding demand of the people and it would lessen distance by 80 Km to the southern districts of KPK and Fata from Punjab, and provide alternative routes. The prime minister lauded the people of the province for rendering innumerable sacrifices in their fight against extremism and terrorism and for protecting the country against such elements who were bent upon damaging the country. He saluted the people of the province for their courage and determination to root out extremism. Prime Minister Gilani assured the people that the government would utilise all its resources for rebuilding the infrastructure that had been damaged due to the unprecedented floods and vowed to build it better. He said the province had been provided sufficient funds and an era of development and prosperity had started. He said under the National Finance Commission Award, the KPK province had been given huge funds for development. He maintained that the opponents of the government were making false claims of doing the impossible, and said the people had seen them in the past and were well aware of the reality. He said the government with the help of the people would transform the country and provide all facilities of life to the under-developed areas. Gilani said all these measures had unnerved the opponents of the govt who were levelling baseless allegations against the government, just to get more seats in the Senate. He said the government came into power with the votes of the people and said he was proud to be the first unanimously elected prime minister of the country. He said he sought guidance from the vision of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.

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